No. 458: Ink flows, Whoppers sizzle and cyber-defenders rise – plus, a critical organoid donation

That's impossible: The fabled "Home of the Whopper," Burger King, turns 65 years old today.

 

When you’re having fun: Hard to believe, dear readers, but time is running out on 2019, as we fly through this first workweek of the last month of the year.

By George: King of the hill, Tupou the heap.

It’s Wednesday, Dec. 4, and to our many readers in Tonga, a peaceful Tupou I Day, honoring 19th century King Tupou Maeakafa Ngininginiofolanga (a.k.a. George Tupou).

Attention, cookie monsters: Today’s your day, too – National Cookie Day, to be precise, celebrated in the States this and every Dec. 4.

For those keeping score, “cookie” comes from the Dutch word koekie, meaning “little cake.”

Stand Fast: And Stand Firm and all the rest, Los Angeles Times, which was first published 138 years ago today.

“Lucky” break: Inventive entrepreneur George Parker earned the first U.S. fountain pen patent, for his Lucky Curve design, on Dec. 4, 1894, writing the Parker Pen Co. into the history books.

Other U.S. patents issued on this date include one in 1812 for Pennsylvania farmer Peter Gaillard, who came up with the idea of mowing grass with a horse-drawn machine (or so the story goes).

Center ice: The Montreal Canadiens hockey team, the oldest still-operating franchise in the National Hockey League and the only NHL team to predate the league, was founded on Dec. 4, 1909.

Here’s a real Whopper: The first Burger King restaurant, known initially as Insta-Burger King, opened on this date in 1954 in Miami.

On the path: The Mars Pathfinder mission blasts off from Florida.

The Martian: And it was Dec. 4, 1996, when the Mars Pathfinder blasted off from Cape Canaveral aboard a Delta II rocket, destined for the red planet.

The data-transmitting lander, renamed the Carl Sagan Memorial Station after its July 4, 1997, touchdown, operated well beyond its operational projections, as did the Sojourner robot rover (named for U.S. civil rights crusader Sojourner Truth), which traveled the Martian surface for 12 times its projected lifespan.

“Patriotism is not enough”: Heroic British nurse Edith Cavell (1865-1915) – remembered for saving the lives of soldiers on both sides during WWI and helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium, for which she was ultimately executed by German firing squad – would be 154 years old today.

Also born on Dec. 4 were famed Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881); Oglala Sioux chief Tashunka Witko (a.k.a. Crazy Horse, 1840-1877), who helped do in Custer in the Battle of Little Bighorn; chilly Maine innovator Chester Greenwood (1858-1937), who invented earmuffs; and amorous American graphic artist Maurice Binder (1925-1991), who designed all those kinky James Bond movie opening-title sequences.

Wink of an eye: Happy 86th, Mr. Martindale.

Wink, wink: And take a bow, Winston Conrad “Wink” Martindale – the American radio personality and television host, known best for wielding the microphone on classic gameshows like “Tic-Tac-Dough” and “High Rollers,” turns 86 today.

Spin the wheel and tell him what he’s won, Johnny, in a note to editor@innovateli.com, where story tips and calendar suggestions are always welcome. No whammies!

 

About our sponsor: The Law Offices of Andrew Presberg is Long Island’s premier “IDA attorney” for businesses relocating, expanding and growing on Long Island. Founded in 1984, the practice also focuses on the purchase, sale, leasing and financing of commercial and industrial property, SBA loan transactions, construction, commercial banking and real estate litigation.

 

BUT FIRST, THIS

NICE wheels: A fleet of new vehicles and an innovative mobile app providing live scheduling updates have advanced fixed-route and paratransit operations at Nassau Inter-County Express, Nassau County’s official public transportation agency.

NICE, which services roughly 90,000 passengers daily, has 29 new vehicles in its fleet, including 10 Compressed Natural Gas-powered fixed-route buses, each equipped for 35 seated passengers and two mobility devices and stocked with state-of-the-art tech such as back-up cameras and high-definition video surveillance.

Able Ride, NICE’s paratransit division, is also fielding 14 new Ford E-350 StarCraft vehicles, each built for 10 seated riders and up to three mobility devices, while the My Transit Manager app by French mobility company Transdev is helping paratransit riders monitor trip status in real time. “This new, accessible platform will keep riders updated down to the minute, and provides peace of mind for our paratransit customers and their loved ones,” noted NICE Paratransit Director Sudesh DeSilva.

Daily double: Zhang with longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek.

That was “Jeopardy!”: We’ll take “Fifteen Minutes of Fame” for $200, Alex, in honor of Westbury resident Ben Zhang, a first-year-student at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, who buzzed in on the Nov. 27 episode of “Jeopardy!”

Appearing in Episode No. 8,103 of the long-running gameshow, Zhang – a Columbia University graduate born in Missouri – wracked up 16 correct questions (not answers) and six wrong guesses (including a crucial Daily Double miss) en route to a $4,798 total score.

That was enough to beat returning champion Beth Stewart, a receptionist from Naperville, Ill., whose two-day cash winnings totaled $53,601 – but not enough to catch Massachusetts librarian Ellen Keane, who was a perfect 15-for-15 in the Jeopardy and Double Jeopardy rounds and cruised to the title with an $11,200 finish.

 

TOP OF THE SITE

Organoid grinder: A chunky TD Bank grant will help Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s top cancer researcher further his early-detection science.

Building digital defenses: FuzeHub is helping Long Island manufacturers fight back against hackers and other cybercriminals.

Once in a Lifetime: Sales are actually up at Garden City’s Lifetime Brands, which blames a one-time restructuring charge for its clunky 3Q earnings.

 

VOICES

In the know: From brand-building to workforce development to healthcare innovation to Long Island’s most famous (and soon-to-be-famous) foodstuffs, nobody digs into the regional innovation economy like our astounding Voices contributors. Learn something new.

 

STUFF WE’RE READING

Just a phase: From Forbes, why overcoming the physics of “phase change” is key to corporate innovation.

Follow the leaders: From Harvard Business Review, the common traits of companies that innovate well.

True that: From Mount Sinai South Nassau, a new Truth in Medicine poll highlighting chronic stress, not helped any by the holidays.

 

RECENT FUNDINGS

+ Group14 Technologies, a Washington State-based startup that manufactures novel lithium-ion battery materials, raised $18 million in funding. Backers included Amperex Technologies Ltd., Showa Denko, Cabot Corp., BASF Venture Capital and OVP Venture Partners.

+ Rightway Healthcare, a New York City-based patient-navigation and healthcare advocacy platform for employers and employees, secured $20 million in Series B funding led by Thrive Capital.

+ Copper Labs, a Colorado-based energy-technology company partnering with utilities to deliver revenue-grade energy usage data and real-time customer engagement, raised $2 million in financing led by Moonshots Capital, Blue Bear Capital, Bull Creek Capital, Capital Factory and Service Provider Capital.

+ AN2 Therapeutics, a California-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development and commercialization of novel medicines targeting infectious diseases, raised $12 million in Series A financing led by Mountain Group Partners, with participation from Adjuvant Capital, Brii Biosciences and BioRock Ventures.

+ Immunitas Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based single-cell genomics-based drug-discovery company, raised $39 million in Series A financing led by Leaps by Bayer and Novartis Venture Fund, with participation from Evotec, M Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments and other institutional investors.

+ Genvid Technologies, a NYC-based developer of interactive streaming technologies for game developers, media companies and sports broadcasters, raised $27 million in Series B funding led by New York’s Galaxy Interactive, March Capital Partners, OCA Ventures, Makers Fund and Horizons Ventures, as well as new investors Valor Equity Partners and K5 Global.

 

BELOW THE FOLD

Spooky: The FBI thinks your TV is spying on you.

Small steps: Early returns calculate Small Business Saturday as a $20 billion national success.

FBI FYI: The Feds would like a word about that TV you bought on Black Friday.

Party primer: How to survive the dreaded office holiday party.

Real deal: Please continue to support the amazing firms that support Innovate LI, including the Law Offices of Andrew Presberg, where expert real estate law tops a long list of business and commercial services. Check them out.